Nanny Diaries — 6 years ago
Nine months (a human gestation) in the life of a New York nanny, who is making her way through graduate school. Although fiction, and by two authors, the reader will be amazed at how they were able to integrate their experiences into one thoroughly sick family.
One can only hope to the powers that be that no child ever goes through all the head-games played out here. And one would also hope that, in real life, bosses such as these would never have any long-term help; that their employees would have the sense to leave. Unfortunately, there are people who are just that desperate for work. And the off-the-books salary system just asks for abuse.
I’ve heard a few complaints about this book I’d like to address:
1) “The nanny didn’t really seem ‘in it’ for the kid”
The fact that she gave up so much of her time (I believe she starts out at 15 hours per week, and at some point goes up to 60 hours during her school breaks) to give this child a proper amount and quality of attention, and the giving of a nickname (two, really, when shortened to his initial) shows an increasing bond between the two. She took her charge to her grandmother’s for a decent Christmas celebration. She stayed up all night with his croup bout. Now, that’s dedication beyond a “paycheck” job.
2) “The nanny was just in it to be the next Mrs. X.”
Oh, PLEASE. What little she saw of Mr. X., the treatment she received from him, not to mention her disgust at walking in while “Chicago” was being done on his desk. I think not.
Now, to bring it back to what I got from this book. There were some very touching slice-of-life moments. I was frustrated by Nanny’s spine issues (not HAVING one), but could empathize with being in that position at that age. This book wasn’t relevant to my life now, but it sure makes me appreciate the people I nannied for.
At least she got a puppy and a boyfriend out of it.
[originally posted to Bookcrossing, 3/21/03]